Royal Ascot Day 4 – Coronation for Alpha Centauri

When she went to 2-for-2 with a win in last year’s Naas Fillies’ Sprint Stakes, Alpha Centauri, looked as if she had superstar potential. However, she was narrowly defeated by the French invader Different League in the Albany Stakes (G3) at Royal Ascot, and then ran unplaced in her next

Royal Ascot Day III – Stradivarius in the Gold Cup

The two-and-a-half mile Ascot Gold Cup (G1) may have long ceased to be as stallion making race – the last winner to become a major sire on the flat was probably Sheshoon who prevailed in 1960 – but it often provides an exceptional spectacle, and the 2018 renewal was no

Poet Has Last Word in Prince of Wales’s Stakes

The highlight of the day, the ten furlong Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) was also supposed to be one of the banker bets of the meeting, featuring Cracksman, officially the high-weighted turf male in the world last year. Cracksman had reportedly struggled to handle the downhill at Epsom when narrowly

ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 – FRANKEL DOUBLE

Royal Ascot kicked off on Tuesday with a double for Frankel. His first winner, Without Parole, captured the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) by a ½ length over the determinedly-closing Gustav Klimt (a Galileo/Danehill cross, like Frankel). This rather recalled Frankel’s own St. James’s Palace, when he held off the

IF 6 WAS 20 – THE FAMILY ROOTS OF FRENCH DERBY WINNER STUDY OF MAN

To paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, “if 6 was 20, would we mind?” Well we might if we’re interested in mtDNA haplotypes, and were looking at the family of last week’s Prix du Jockey-Club/French Derby (G1) winner, Study of Man. Out of the Storm Cat mare, Second Happiness, he is a grandson

HOLLIDAY, HARZAND & MINDING

With Harzand and Minding taking the Epsom Derby (gr. I) and Epsom Oaks (gr. I), and then following up with wins in the Irish Derby (gr. I) and Pretty Polly Stakes (gr. I), it’s interesting to reflect how both go back to families developed by the great English breeder, Major

ROYAL ASCOT – DAYS 4/5 – THE NEED FOR SPEED

Run for only the second time the six furlong Commonwealth Stakes (gr. I) for three-year-old sprinters fell to Quiet Reflection, who was winning for the sixth time in seven starts, all but one of those victories coming in black type company. Quiet Reflection is from the second crop of the

ROYAL ASCOT DAY 3 – CUP OF ST GEORGE

After a runaway win in the Irish St. Leger (gr. I) at three last year, Order of St George was given a World Racehorse Ranking that rated him among the best stayers of recent years. To justify such lofty consideration he really needed to win this year’s Ascot Gold Cup

ROYAL ASCOT DAY 2 – SCAT DADDY SCORES AGAIN

On Day 1 at Royal Ascot, Carvaggio, a son of Scat Daddy, scored an impressive victory in the Coventry Stakes (gr. II). Last year, Scat Daddy was represented by Royal Ascot juvenile group winner Acapulco, and before that there was No Nay Never. None of that trio, however, was as

ROYAL ASCOT DAY 1 – TEPIN ON TOP

Day 1 at Royal Ascot was a big day for milers. The meet kicked off with the Queen Anne Stakes (gr. I) for older horses over the straight mile, and saw history made as U.S. invader Tepin (by Bernstein) became the first horse trained outside of Europe to capture this